There are probably few people in the world who haven’t heard of the famous French philosopher Voltaire or of the musician John Lennon; however, the same people that could guarantee knowing “Candide” or who hum “Yesterday” might be unaware that these two personages were Micronationalists.
Toward the end of his life, Voltaire bought a property and moved to the French border, for building his castle at Ferney. There, Voltaire became a local patriarch and a model for everyone; in addition, he equipped a ceramics factory and built theatres. During the famous philosopher’s residence, Ferney’s population increased by more than 1,000 people, and at present, Ferney-Voltaire is a tranquil French town with almost 8,000 inhabitants.
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, are also on the list of followers of micronationalism. In April of 1973, the couple announced the birth of Nutopia, the country in the world where everybody were ambassadors. Nutopia was described as a “conceptual country”, without borders or laws other than the cosmos. At that time, Lennon had received diverse threats of deportation to the United Kingdom because of possession of marijuana. As ambassadors of Nutopia, Lennon and Yoko requested diplomatic immunity and recognition by the United Nations.
The Kenyan Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, can also be numbered among the famous Micronationalists. In April 2009, in the Fowler Museum of UCLA, she declared that her country’s problems went beyond the current government. When the British handed over the power to the Kenyans, the latter lacked the legal and administrative knowledge necessary for controlling a state, “I had never encountered the concept of a nation, except for the concept of my tribe,” and she was referring, I this case, to the tribes as micronations. It seems that Dr. Maathai was intelligent in many ways, because the tribes and nations of the Fifth World are the same thing. Therefore, the activist added, “Let’s look at France, a country that is usually very united and proud of itself; we will see that the micronations have the same parameters for being proud: a sense of belonging and history, of the past and of heritage.”